Friday, 22 June 2018 : 11th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Paulinus of Nola, Bishop and St. John Fisher, Bishop and Martyr, and St. Thomas More, Martyr (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops) or Red (Martyrs)

2 Kings 11 : 1-4, 9-18, 20

When Athaliah, the mother of Ahaziah, saw that her son had died, she was determined to wipe out all the descendants of the king. But Jehosheba, the daughter of king Joram and sister of Ahaziah, took Joash, her nephew, and brought him away from among the king’s sons who were about to be killed, and put him with his wet nurse in the bedroom.

Thus she hid him from Athaliah, so that the boy was saved. And Joash remained hidden in the house of YHVH for six years while Athaliah reigned over the land. In the seventh year, Jehoiada the chief priest, summoned the officers of the royal guard and of the Carites to the house of YHVH. After concluding a pact with them under oath, he showed them the king’s son.

The commanders of the guards did what Jehoiada the priest had told them to do; and they showed up with all their men, those who were to go off duty on the Sabbath as well as those who were to come on duty on that day. Jehoiada entrusted to the officers the spears and shields of king David which were in the house of YHVH. And then the guards stood from the southern corner of the house to the north, surrounding the altar and the house of YHVH.

Then Jehoiada, the priest, brought out the king’s son, crowned him and put the bracelets on him, then proclaimed and consecrated him king. All clapped their hands, shouting and crying out, “Long live the king!” When Athaliah heard the noise of the people, she approached the crowd surrounding the house of YHVH.

The king was standing by the pillar, according to the custom, and the officers and the trumpeters were with him. The people were filled with joy and they were blowing trumpets. On seeing this, Athaliah tore her clothes and cried out, “Treason, treason!”

Jehoiada the priest commanded the officers, “Surround her and bring her out to the courtyard, and kill anyone who tries to defend her.” He gave this order, because he thought, “She should not die in the house of YHVH.” They brought her out, and when they reached the palace of the king, by the horses’ entrance, there, they killed her.

Jehoiada made a Covenant between YHVH and the king and the people so they would be the people of YHVH. All the citizens went to the temple of Baal and destroyed it. They broke the altars and the images into pieces, and killed Mattan, the priest of Baal, before his altar. Then Jehoiada, the priest, posted guards over the house of YHVH.

All the citizens were happy and the city was at peace. Now regarding Athaliah, she had died by the sword in the king’s palace.

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